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Samsung, LG chiefs visit Europe in last-minute push for World Expo bid

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Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong, second from left, networks with participants at a reception for Busan's World Expo 2030 held in Paris in June. [YONHAP]
Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong, second from left, networks with participants at a reception for Busan’s World Expo 2030 held in Paris in June. [YONHAP]

Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong and other Korean business chiefs are heading to Europe in their last spurt of support for Busan’s bid for World Expo 2030 ahead of the final vote scheduled for Tuesday in Paris. They are also accompanying President Yoon Suk Yeol on a state visit to Britain and promotional trip to France.

President Yoon is making a state visit to Britain from Monday to Thursday on King Charles III’s invitation and will then fly to France to make his last bid for Busan to host World Expo 2030.

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Samsung Electronics’ Lee took off to London on Sunday to join Yoon. Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung and LG Chairman Koo Kwang-mo also headed to London to join the presidential delegation.

Lee is also expected to inspect Samsung’s European business in Britain, according to local reports.

Samsung Electronics has a European headquarters, design center and AI R&D center located in Britain.

The delegation will then join Yoon in Paris to lend last-minute support to Busan’s bid.

From left, Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, first lady Kim Keon Hee and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won talks at a reception event of Busan's World Expo 2030 in Paris in June. [NEWS1]
From left, Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, first lady Kim Keon Hee and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won talks at a reception event of Busan’s World Expo 2030 in Paris in June.

 

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who also serves as the chairman of Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the co-head of Busan World Expo bidding committee, is already in France, networking with other European countries to provide last-minute support for Busan’s Expo bid.

Chey will not visit London but will join President Yoon and the business delegation in France, according to industry sources.

President Yoon and the business delegation’s final push for the Expo will take place in Paris, where the headquarters of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is located, beginning on Thursday.

The same members joined forces back in June for the fourth presentation of the World Expo 2030 in Paris, where they held a reception focused on Busan’s Expo bid.

The 182 members of the BIE will elect World Expo 2030’s host country during its 173rd general assembly through a secret ballot on Tuesday. Korea’s Busan is competing against Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh and Italy’s Rome.

Chey will stay until the voting day, while other executives’ schedules have not yet been confirmed.

Samsung’s Lee is also scheduled to join President Yoon’s state visit to the Netherlands next month.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]